Published Thursday, 17 October 2013
Briege Brownlee had been attacked by Noonan. (© Pacemaker)
Belfast Crown Court heard that, as well as the attack on Christmas Day last year, 55-year-old Paul Norney set fire to his wife's car three days later when she refused to let him in.
Jailing Norney, Judge Gordon Kerr told him his behaviour had been "quite appalling" and warned him that such behaviour "simply cannot be tolerated".
He had earlier heard that on Christmas Day afternoon, a drunken "aggressive" Norney had gone to the St James Place home of his wife, Sinn Féin councillor Briege Brownlee, where the pair had an argument in the kitchen.
Prosecuting lawyer Robin Steer recounted how Norney "shouted" into his wife's face, pushed her across the table and that when she took the phone from the wall, he grabbed it from her and threw it against the wall while "shouting abuse".
The lawyer said access to their children, who witnessed the incident, seemed to be the reason for the argument.
Having smashed the phone, Norney left but tried to kick the door in after it had been closed and Mr Steer revealed that Ms Brownlee took out a non-molestation order against her husband.
Three days later, however, Norney came back to her home and "flew into a rage" and tried to kick the door in again when she told him about the court order and refused to let him in.
Mr Steer said Norney shouted: "This is it, I'm burning the house down".
Shortly afterwards, Ms Brownlee "realised that her car was on fire".
The blaze was extinguished by the Fire Service but the rear seat was extensively burned and the rest of the car "suffered significant smoke damage", said the lawyer but he added there was no costings as regards the damage.
Officers arrested a "sobbing" Norney at his sister's house nearby and although he refused to answer police questions during interview, he "appeared to become upset and emotional".
Norney, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry prison, later pleaded guilty to common assault, arson, making a threat to damage property, criminal damage and two charges of attempting to cause criminal damage.
The offences were aggravated, submitted Mr Steer because Norney had two previous convictions for domestic violence against his wife.
Defence lawyer Neil Fox revealed that despite the wrongs which had been done to her, Ms Brownlee had been "supportive and helpful" to Norney, visiting him in jail whilst on remand.
"Through me he would like to thank her for that," said the lawyer, adding that Norney had a "longstanding problem" with alcohol addiction, stemming from when he spent years in an isolation cell in jail.
Former IRA gunman Norney spent 20 years in an English jail for trying to kill a police officer.
However, when jailing Norney on Thursday, Judge Kerr said he was "ignoring" those offences as they were not relevant - but warned him that if he did not address his alcoholism, "you will be caught in a cycle of offending".
© UTV News